Benefit Primping With The Stars Review

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The front cover

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Helpful tips and hints Benefit have provided at the top of the product
Helpful tips and hints Benefit have provided in the inside lid of the product

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The kit includes a mirror underneath the tips- perfect for outings!
The kit includes a mirror underneath the tips- perfect for outings!
The mirror comes with a protective cover (however, I have removed it for this shot)
The mirror comes with a protective cover (however, I have removed it for this shot)

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I’ve started really loving Benefit. I discovered their fantastic products while browsing through feelunique.com and ever since then I haven’t been able to stop loving their stuff. Pricey, but good quality. Especially this gorgeous ‘fake it’ kit that includes nearly everything you could wish for in a easy, quick morning make up routine. Including They’re Real! Beyond MascaraStay Don’t Stray! Stay- Put PrimerBenetint Rose- Tinted Lip and Cheek StainSome Kind- A- Gorgeous- Medium Foundation Faker, Girl Meets Pearl Cream and The POREfessional Pro Balm– Well, what can I say? Wow!

Let’s start with the packaging. Like everything in the Benefit range, all their products are beautifully and thoughtfully packaged. This adorable pastel pink and blue ‘book’ is no different, but practical too with magnetic sides to stop the kit flapping open. Internally, it is also a lovely and well- planned design. Placed in specially shaped holes in the packaging, numbered and with extra special tips has sure made my stressful morning a lot easier. I love the diagrams too, and the mirror, which is so useful when popping out for a bit just to check you haven’t suddenly got lipstick on your teeth!

The actual products are also impressive. Let’s start with the mascara, which is also packaged very nicely. The wand is very easy to use and gives a bold finish. Sadly, it is not waterproof (I’m a sucker for sad films) but usually I only apply to my outer lashes to give a subtle look. It is a very black black, so if you are the one who usually pops on some brown mascara everyday then maybe save this for a night out. Next up is the primer. Okay, I have to admit I don’t really use primer that much. In fact, I’m not really one for eyeshadow or concealer at all. I’m young enough not to have to use concealer (yay!) and eyeshadow, well, I only own about two in total (and one has already crumbled to its death). So primer? Not for me. This primer? Good. Moisturizing and it blends easily into your skin, and for the one eyeshadow I have used over it, the result has been that none of the powder budged.

Next please! Now it’s the ‘benetint’. I absolutely love this! A definite fave for my cheeks (I usually use the Stila Lip Glazes for my lips, which I will review….one day!), this tint is simple to use. Simply stroke three times across the cheekbones, and rub in. Da Da! It gives you a lovely rosey glow and for some reason it smells like roses…I think (you never know, it might just be my sense of smell. The other day my Mum was making meatballs and I could smell strawberry jelly *rolls eyes*). I have tried it on my lips once and it gives a slight crimson pout, but nothing particularly special for me personally.

The ‘foundation- faker’ also gets a thumbs up from me. The only difference, really, from a real foundation is that it is more sheer and gives a lighter coverage and overall feels lighter on the skin. For me, it definitely evens out my complexion. It is also very creamy and feels very moisturizing! A definite plus to your makeup bag.

Now a round of applause for both the Girl Meets Pear Cream and the POREfessional! For starters, I don’t think I can explain just how much I love my GMP facial cream. Layered over my cheek tint, I actually do have a resemblance to Snow White, with my super soft dimples I feel as if I have transformed from an ordinary girl to a princess! And I’m not even joking. This facial cream gives an enchanting look (and feel), dries quickly without nearly any rubbing in and is a pleasure to use. Trust me, just buy this and your life is complete. Or maybe it could be applied to  a Christmas list?                               My POREfessional cream is also very good too. I have noticed a drastic difference in the number of spots I am getting, and my skin looks a lot healthier.

Overall, Benefit’s Primping With The Stars kit is amazing for me, the only thing they could have done to improve it is maybe made getting out the individual products a bit easier. For someone with short fingernails, this is a great difficulty. I spent nearly half an hour last week scrabbling at my fake foundation like a desperate animal. Anyway, a great bargain for what it’s worth! A definite recommendation.

Have you discovered any more Benefit miracles? Comment down below…

Kate X

Benefit Primping With The Stars Review

The Body Shop: Honey Bronzer (Shade: Bronze)

WP_20141109_005‘This honey-enriched illuminating powder leaves skin bronzed and radiant. It comes in a no-mess tube with an integrated brush.
Integrated, cruelty-free brush
No-mess application
For face and décolletage’

According to The Body Shop this product is illuminating and radiant but I can’t say so myself. Whilst I do love it, the only time I’ll really use it is when I’m going for a subtle and sparkly look. Does it give my skin a tanned look? For me, no. All I get is a quiet shimmering glow that usually only makes an appearance in sunlight.

I got this as a gift as I never usually wear bronzer. Now, for a very excitable girl, observing isn’t the best talent have. I usually take a quick glance at something, give it a sniff and smother it on. The brush inside the packaging is a dark brown colour and doesn’t appear to have any bronzer, glitter or anything. So I think you can understand why, in frustration, I twisted open the usually un- twistable body of the product and discovered a lot of bronze glitter which I proceeded to spill all over my dresser. So some helpful advice here, from a first-hander, do not and I repeat, do not underestimate the power of sparkly bronzer. And do not open the body of the packaging.

The brush is a dark colour so it's very difficult to see the bronze shade and glimmer.
The brush is a dark colour so it’s very difficult to see the bronze shade and glimmer.
A view straight down the tube- the bronzer powder I had my fatal accident with.
A view straight down the tube- the bronzer powder I had my fatal accident with.

Despite some complaints that it is difficult to see, applied to the face the bronzer powder discreetly gives a delicate glow which is very pretty. I often get many compliments when wearing the product. If you’re looking for something that more has the ‘sparkle’ aspect than the actual tanning, I recommend this. However, if you are looking for a more dramatic look than this is not for you.

The packaging is very practical, I have to say. The built- in brush is definitely ‘cruelty- free’ and appliance of the powder is extremely easy, simply gliding along the cheekbones and nose. I like to use mine on just my nose and cheeks, but I’m sure you could probably use it on your whole face for an all round vampire look (The Cullens, anyone?). The brush slides into the packaging (look below), which is a very clever mechanism that enables users to easily put the lid on without added hassle.

The brush slides in easily to both protect it and make putting the lid on more practical.
The brush slides in easily to both protect it and make putting the lid on more practical.

A definite recommendation if you’re looking for a subtle and pretty product, The Body Shop Honey Bronzer is perfect for outings and days out to the park.

Kate X

PS. If you need any more info on any product I have reviewed (including this one) please don’t hesitate to give me a shout at katewrenchitchat@gmail.com.

The Body Shop: Honey Bronzer (Shade: Bronze)

Christmas Gift Ideas

800px-Christmas_presents_under_the_tree_(11483648553)So the time has come when all of us folk alike start wondering about the perfect prezzie plan for family members. What to get Dad? What to get that difficult cousin over in France? Where to get gift wrap? Worry no more! Kate & Quirks has created a fantastic and flexible list for family and friends, so you can survive another X-mas without stress. Sure, some of these gifts are highly priced, but I’ll try and provide a different option for those readers not wanting to splash out. I’ve also provided links so you’re saved from the trouble of browsing for hours online (ever heard of square eyes?) or running aimlessly through Oxford Street on the 24th December (not the most fun, I tell you).

For the Mums:

For the alcohol loving Mums: Little Pink Book of Cocktails- Oliver Bonas- £5.99

For the mumsy Mums: Jacquard Checked Hot Water Bottle- White Stuff- £17.50

For the chef Mums: The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook- Oliver Bonas- £20

For the stay in-bed Mums: Knitted Slipper- Boden- £29

For the trendy Mums: Acid Wash Skinny Jeans- Forever 21- £17.50

For The Dads:

For the awkward Dads: The Very Embarrassing Book of Dad Jokes- Debenhams- £9.99

For the smart Dads: Tyson- Wallet- Calvin Klein- £90

For the traditional Dads: Matt Hayes Wild Soft Lure Selection- Sports Direct- £7.99

For the techno Dads: Herschel Heritage Sleeve for 15″ Macbooks- Black- Skate Hut- £31.95

For the alcohol- loving Dads: Oz and James Drink to Britian Book- Amazon- From £0.01

For The Boyfriend/Hubby or Girlfriend/Wifey:

For the cheesy: Play the Song Love Story Locket Black Harmonica Necklace- Etsy- £17.48

For the cares- how- they- smell: Bond No 9 Perfume- Harrods- £200

For the geeky: Scientific Spice Rack- notonthehighstreet.com- £24.95

For the money- lover: Pink Pig Piggybank Traditional Ceramic Bank- Amazon- £5.95

For the animal lover: Adopt a Snow Leopard Subscription- WWF- From £3 a month

For the Difficult Cousins:

For the globe- travellers: Scratch Off World Map Poster- notonthehighstreet.com- £15.95

For the eco- conscious: Cardboard Radio and iPod Speaker- Nigel’s Eco Store- £24.95

For the wine- consseuier: 2009 Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2009- Vintage Wine Gifts- £21.97

Gift Wrap:

Snowy Friends 5m Roll Wrapping Paper- Paper Chase- £5.00

Christmas Stocking Postal Bags- Set of 12- Paper Chase- £10.00

Mini Trinket Bags- Paper Tiger- £1.49

So there you have it! If you need anymore help, don’t hesitate to e-mail me (katewrenchitchat@gmail.com) so Kate & Quirks can ensure you are the best X-mas buyer ever…

Good luck, little elves! 🙂

Kate X

PS. Comment down below, your best prezzie bargains and I’ll make sure to check them out.

Christmas Gift Ideas

The Body Shop: Fragrance Mists

Pretty glass bottles
Pretty glass bottles
Indian Night Jasmine
Indian Night Jasmine
English Dawn White Gardinia
English Dawn White Gardenia
The pretty design on the back of the bottle
The pretty design on the back of the bottle
Practical fragrance nozzle
Practical fragrance nozzle

As always, I scurried to The Body Shop to pick these up. I purchased the lovely Indian Night Jasmine and really enjoyed it, with its both delicate and elegant smell. I was going to describe it as musky, but the scent isn’t as strong and drowning as the word may suggest. It’s pretty and noticeable and I often get many complements when wearing it (if I don’t over- use, which I do have a tendency to do *looks sheepish*). I use it almost everyday, and while at a level it could be described as floral, I don’t find the scent particularly overpowering in that sense. It more reminds me of a misty night out on the road in India, with busy crowds and fortune tellers, story tellers and the lot… A lovely scent, a definite recommendation- if only I could upload scent samples to you right now so you don’t have to listen to me warble on! 😉

As for the fragrance mist English Dawn White Gardenia (bit of a mouthful *gulp*) I’m not so impressed. Obviously this is my personal opinion and we all like different things, but for me the scent is just too floral. While I do like a hint of a flowery smell (like INJ) being drowned in rose water is not my idea of sleeping beauty. While as a flower, Roses are high on my favourites list, this perfume fails to convince me they should stay on my list (not that I have one printed out at home, or anything…). However, after my negative feeling toward the product my mum snooped around my cabinet and saw the unused bottle sitting there… As you may have guessed she has now adopted it and is sitting proudly in her cabinet, over half of it used. So this made me wonder if the fragrance was targeted at older audiences, rather than teenage buyers. Agree or not agree?

I love the packaging on the mists. It’s simple, practical and pretty, a definite thumbs up from a girl who is very clumsy and frequently drops things. As you can imagine, clutching a hexagonal glass prism with a triangular nozzle that is very pricey is not the best idea for me.

The nozzle on both fragrances are very easy to use and squirt a considerable amount of liquid, but rest assured you won’t end up like a drowned cat after a quick spray. Well, maybe don’t trust me. I do often find myself dripping wet, as I described above I have a ‘tendancy to overspray’ (I admit, that’s a bit of an understatement.).

Overall I’m happy with my purchases. A mist for me, a mist for Mum (oh wait, I just realised how cheesy that sounded *cringe*)! Everyone’s happy. Let me know if you’ve discovered any other fantastic mists from TBS. I’ll be sure to give them a try!

Kate X

PS. That greenish tinge in the EDWG photo is not what you think it is. I keep my products well away from tolitery activities, thank you very much!

 

The Body Shop: Fragrance Mists

The Body Shop: Body Butters

My tattered and much- loved butter
My tattered and much- loved butter
Golden goodness
Golden goodness
A close up
A close up
Behind the scenes
Behind the scenes
Shimmer!
Shimmer!

I’ve been a loyal customer to The Body Shop for a long time. Every time we go to our local shopping centre I make sure I grab one of these. I picked this one up about two years ago for a fiver, as I got a discount for buying a huge hamper full of stuff (which unfortunately I gave away for free because of a rumour that The Body Shop were doing animal testing *face palm*). I absolutely love it, and I’ll discuss this with you in the next few paragraphs if you’re considering buying one of these beauties!

I think everyone knows The Body Shop do good stuff. Their products smell great, look great and overall just are  great. And this is no different, I’ve owned plenty of body butters in my time from TBS: strawberry, coconut (yum!) and now this one, what I think is the original version of the legendary ‘Chocomania’. I’ve also discovered so many more like ‘Vitamin Body Butter’, ‘Olive Body Butter’ and ‘Sweet Lemon Body Butter’. Who ever knew there could be so many…body butters?

All of the range have incredible smells. I don’t know if it’s just my extra sensitive sense of smell or something, but I can’t seem to stop pressing my face against the packaging. This one in particular generates a mouth watering scent of cocoa butter, which I suppose is very chocolatey (as, you know, cocoa butter is made of cocoa beans and cocoa beans make chocolate!?).

However, I am slightly confused that the colour of the product is golden, despite many labels naming it as chocolate– and chocolate is definitely not golden unless my eyesight has deceived me for years. I found it very difficult to name what the butter was because it has no clue on the outside whatsoever apart from the strange brown splodges spotted in the picture. So let’s say a member of the public (like you or me) walks up to TBS and wants to buy the famous Cocunut body butter: ‘oh look, here it is!’, they say, clutching the brown tin- shaped packaging. See what I mean? Then this poor customer is going to arrive home to be tremendously disappointed at the sight of a chocolate butter, not a coconut one. I do love The Body Shop, but I wish they’d make their product names a bit clearer (although I do have to give them some credit for writing its name on the back in small print.)

Something I can’t ignore is the wonderful feel the butters have on the skin. The second the moisturiser is applied, the wonderful Aloe Vera, Babassu Oil, Brazil Nut Oil, Cocoa Butter, and Shea Butter takes over to create a calming and indulgent experience. Having a night at homes? Slap on some body butter. Having a stressful day at work? Slap on some body butter. Going out? Slap on some body butter. I know that I will ‘slap on some body butter’ any chance I get.

Some advice I can give you is keep the lid on! There’s nothing worse than going to your saviour and realizing that last week (or whenever you last used it) you were in a hurry and dumped the lid on the floor as an attempt to get out the door. Sadly, I suffered that fate as I dipped my finger in the substance and realised it was next to rock hard. If you look closely at the pictures I have supplied, the texture is hard and flaky, not soft and inviting like it is supposed to be. But I can’t complain- it was me who destroyed the butter *over-dramatic pause*.

One positive thing I can still benefit from my butter, and I think everyone can, is the lovely shimmer effect. If you look at the picture of my sparkly arm it literally shimmers. I’m not sure if it’s just my butter that glimmers, but if yours does take advantage! It’s not everyday you walk out the door looking like a vampire.

So there you have it. It smells good, looks good, is good (even if the packaging was a little vague). I’d definitely recommend this product. Let me know in the comments if there are any other TBS bargains we can grab.

Kate X

The Body Shop: Body Butters

A Bit About Me

Me looking a bit awkward
Me looking a bit awkward

Hello, lovely people of the world! To begin with, I’m going to to tell you who I am because you’re all probably sitting there, clueless. Well I hope you are, otherwise that would be pretty creepy if you already knew everything about me *looks around nervously*; I’m a teenage girl named, well that’s kinda obvious, but for those of you that haven’t bothered looking at the webpage url (and don’t worry, you’re not alone) my name is Kate Wren. I like browsing aimlessly for hours on the internet, spending money that I probably don’t have and sitting alone in my bedroom really thinking that I need to tidy it but making up some lame excuse (‘it’s like a museum’; ‘if someone tries to kill me they’ll trip over something and die’etc). So you’re most likely thinking that I’m a bit of a saddo, a weirdo not worth living in the blogging world. Well, let me tell you, that is not the case!

Because I have so many, uh… hobbies (as named above) I have lots of stuff squirelled away behind shelves and dusty pots, as well as many opinions I am desperate to share. But most of the time I’ll probably be reviewing purchases for the benefit of you so you don’t end up doomed at the expense of that very pricey shower gel that failed to impress you. And no, I won’t be reviewing the old unsharpened pencil I got the other day at the jumble sale (but if you have a good look around my bedroom, you’ll probably find one) but top quality items from top quality brands. I’m very excited to tell you about my new Lush bath products I ordered online today, and to either review or rant about them in the near future. Am I the only one really excited about the wonderful christmasy bath bombs just sitting tantalizingly on those shelves??

And when I’ve rated every single product, I’m sure I’ll find something to express my views on either positively or negatively- I’m a very inventive person!

I’ll also be posting recommendations and maybe a few random posts just to throw in some fun…

Either you’re liking this or not, don’t leave. It’ll sure be a very lonely life without Kate Wren there to help you out.So there you have it, I’m a teenage shortish girl from London with a serious addiction to hoarding unnecessary stuff- so what are you waiting for? Get reading!

Kate X

PS. X-mas is coming! I might consider publishing a helpful little list of easy and cheap gifts for those difficult people in your life! Got any ideas? Post your prezzie plan down below and I’ll be sure to get back to you!

A Bit About Me